Delray Beach, FL – A Florida microbrewery has adopted a novel way to not only reduce plastic waste but also give a little something back to the environment. Saltwater Brewery, located on the Atlantic coast, uses barley and wheat leftover from the brewing process to produce biodegradable six-pack rings that serve as food for wildlife.
Plastic six-pack rings and other forms of plastic waste kill millions of seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles every year. At the current rate, scientists predict that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
Problems like this one, demand creative solutions, and Saltwater Brewery has delivered. Instead of posing a massive threat to marine life, the compostable beer packaging either biodegrades or becomes a safe snack for fish and other sea creatures.
While the process is slightly more costly at this point, wider adoption of the process would bring down costs for the industry. Their produce has the full support of locals who recognize the importance of environmental stewardship.
“The creative solution we bring forward has the potential to influence how we do sustainable packaging with zero waste and no impact on wildlife,” said Marco Vega, co-founder of We Believers, which partnered with Saltwater Brewery to produce the six-pack rings.
The noble founders of Saltwater Brewery, made up of “fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea,” are passionate about preserving marine ecosystems, and also show it by donating to charities – all the while producing great-tasting craft beers. Caution: looking over the “on tap” list at Saltwater’s website may compel you to book a trip to Delray Beach.
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“Using only pure and natural ingredients, each style of handcrafted beer and corresponding name is inspired by the ocean to reflect the lifestyle and passion of the Founders. Saltwater’s goal is to maintain the world’s greatest wonder by giving back through ocean based charities (CCA, Surfrider, Ocean Foundation, MOTE) and the Edible Six Pack Rings.”
The peril faced by marine life is hard to fathom for most, as humanity has become disconnected from that which sustains us. Whales dying from bellies full of plastic, turtles and birds choking on debris – it’s all ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for most people.
Healthy marine ecosystems are essential for the continuation of stable human life. Ecosystem collapse would have real effects on our lives, not to mention the tragedy of extinguishing species that have evolved to wondrous and incredible forms over millions of years.
Dilution is NOT the solution to pollution. The oceans are not inexhaustible and are not endless dumping grounds. Corporations and government obfuscate the real effects of rampant consumerism – such as plastic waste – knowing full well that an informed populace poses a threat to their profits and power.
Saltwater Brewery’s compostable, edible six-pack rings are one of many technologies available to reduce the environmental impact of human activity as the population grows. One day there could be boats that turn plastic waste into diesel fuel. Researchers are exploring how to use wax worm caterpillars to eat plastic waste such as shopping bags.
While scientists work on those things, let’s use our hard-earned money to support companies that work toward a more sustainable future, such as Saltwater Brewery.